I lost my middle son, Samaad, to gun violence on December 31, 2019, in Somerset, New Jersey. He was 19 years old, an elite basketball player and a 2018 graduate of Franklin High School. Samaad was murdered while visiting a friend’s house by five young men who knew him and went to school with him. He was not a gang member or involved in gang activity; he was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Samaad was no celebrity, but in silence he touched many, young and old. He made his dash, his legacy about inspiring, motivating and loving others. His presence, his hugs, his entire life was about LOVE — the LOVE he showed everyone who came into contact with him and the LOVE we all share with each other in his death.
To honor him and to continue his legacy, I started a nonprofit, One Family One Fight, to be a support system in my community. I also began writing my blog “Finding Light Through Shadows: A Grief Healing Blog” to help me cope with his loss and share my grief healing journey. His killers were caught, but the time served won’t justify his death.